At stake in this Referendum:
- Restructuring of financial equalisation and the federal taxation system, and permits for embryonic research
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: Federal Councillor Joseph DEISS *
- Head of Government: Federal Councillor Joseph DEISS
- Assembly: Switzerland has a bicameral Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung, Assemblée Féderale) consisting of the Council of States (Standerat, Conseil des Etats, or Consiglio degli Stati) with 46 seats* and the National Council (Nationalrat, Conseil National, or Consiglio Nazionale) with 200 seats.
* President of the Confederation and Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs
* The Council of States, consists of 46 members, two elected from each of 20 cantons and one from each of the six half-cantons, according to cantonal procedure.
Main provisions in the Referendum:
- Financial equalisation Provision One: Allowing the restructuring of financial equalisation, and to redistribute federal responsibilities between the cantons.
- Federal taxation system Provision Two: Prolongation of the federal taxation system - extends the government's right to collect taxes until 2020.
- Stem Cell Research Provision Three: Permits research on surplus embryos obtained through in-vitro fertilisation for therapeutic purposes and under strict regulations, into stem cells. Also strictly prohibits therapeutic cloning, the creation of embryos for the purpose of research and also the trading of embryos or stem cells.
Population and registered voters:
- Population: 7,389,625 (2004)
- Registered Voters: 4,708,440 (2003)
· Female Population: 3,775,180 (2004)
· Is Switzerland a signatory to CEDAW: Yes (23 January 1987)
· Has Switzerland ratified CEDAW: Yes (27 March 1997)
· Gender Quota: No
· Female candidates in this election: N/A
· Number of Female Parliamentarians: 50 (National Council); 11 (Council of States) following the 2003 elections
· Human Development Index Position: 3 (2014)
· Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: N/A
· Is Switzerland a signatory to CRPD: No
· Has Switzerland ratified CRPD: Yes, accession (15 April 2014)
· Population with a disability: 1,108,443 (est.)